The Slow Food USA Regional Governors are a team of 19 former chapter leaders who work to grow Slow Food’s presence in their geographic region and to support the region’s chapter leaders. A “region” is typically made up of ten or more chapters in a geographic area, and governors serve a four-year term.
Please note: regions and states subject to change.
Mara Welton co-owns and operates 2-acre Half Pint Farm with her husband Spencer in Burlington, Vermont’s Intervale. Mara farms because she loves good food – and started her specialty veggie farm in 2003 to provide Vermont with locally grown niche produce. Mara loves that farming keeps her grounded, inspired, and eating the best possible food everyday! Mara helped to re-launch Slow Food Vermont in 2007, and brings with her a passion for food and traditional foodways, enthusiasm for the process of seed to plate, exciting and educational event planning and general good organizational skills, and an ability to trust and empower her fellow board members to keep Slow Food Vermont always engaging. When Mara is not farming, she is: running, experimenting in the kitchen, reading about food, snuggling with her dachshunds, traveling abroad, speaking at conferences, entertaining, and pining for the growing season. Area: Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont
Michelle Moon came to Slow Food via an interest in food and regional culture, cultivated in the kitchens and gardens of a family with roots spreading from Texas to Providence, Ireland to Italy. A lifelong educator, she develops cultural programming for museums, currently overseeing adult programs at Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. A co-founder and co-leader of Slow Food Seacoast from 2006 to 2009, she enjoys shaping educational events that bring New England food traditions into the 21st century. She attended Slow Food Nation, helped pioneer a Seacoast Local Food Networking Group to collaborate on strategies for building a local, sustainable food system, and served as Education Coordinator for the first NH Fish & Lobster Festival in September 2009. At the rare times when she is not thinking about food, Michelle’s vision for a nation and region built of interconnected, vibrant local cultures finds her involved across the community, in projects as diverse as shoreline protection, local media, and local music. Area: Maine, Rhode Island
Ed Yowell is a retired City of New York executive who spends much of his time in the fight for good, clean, and fair farming and food. He has been a member of the Slow Food New York City Board of Directors since 1999. As a member of Slow Food NYC, Ed is a Co-chair of the Urban Harvest (Slow Food in Schools) and the SLOW U (educational event) committees. He is also a member of the Slow Food USA Northeast Regional Ark Committee. In 2003, Ed combined his love of history and apples to start a Slow Food NYC effort to board the Green Newtown Pippin apple, the only American heirloom apple native to the Big Apple, on to the Ark of Tastse and to bring it back to New York City tables. As a Slow Food USA Regional Governor, he has been active in national and regional food and farm policy advocacy. Ed serves on the Greenmarket (NYC’s farmers markets) Advisory Committee and the American Farmland Trust New York Advisory Council. He has worked with the New York City Food and Farm Bill Working Group and the New York City Food Forum. He is a Co-chair of the Food Systems Network NYC Leadership Committee. Area: Northeast (New York, New Jersey, & Connecticut)
Greg Boulos is a member of the Slow Food Pittsburgh steering committee who attended Terra Madre and Slow Food Nation in 2008. He serves as the Western Regional Director for the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), where he helps to build infrastructure for local food distribution, develops collaborative social enterprises, and forms partnerships with foundations and food enterprises, among other responsibilities. Greg is a graduate of Slippery Rock’s Sustainable Systems Masters Program and Leadership Pittsburgh. He is a Board member of the Rotary Club of Pittsburgh and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. He and his wife operate an organic CSA farm, Blackberry Meadows, outside of Pittsburgh. Area: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, District of Columbia
Jan Wesley grew up in Greenville, South Carolina eating from plastic green plates isolated into meat and 3’s marching through Cafeteria lines and after-church dinners. Then, chased by a bull and pecked by the hens trying to take away their eggs on her first farm experience, food instantly went from boring repetition to an exciting challenge! College took her to Italy to learn how to paint, and food entered the realm of romantic artistic expression. Painting is by far her world of joy, apart from gazing lovingly in the eyes of her husband and children, but setting the table for a great dinner party ranks at least second. Venturous projects are in her nature: recycling bins on Main St. covered in art, editing the artwork for her husband’s new book, and managing rental property and small farm in Italy, making wine and olive oil, with no added bulls or chickens.
In 2010 she determined to locate the first USA-based Earth Market in Greenville and, in 2011 the reality came to pass, continuing to be fueled by passion. She was named activist of the year in 2011 by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, a great honor from folks she considers her heroes. She is a currently the Chapter Leader for Slow Food Upstate in Greenville, since 2009, a board member since 2007, and member since she can remember. She is a partner with Salute! LLC, a new business project that creates traditional liqueurs from fresh ingredients. Jan is a board member with the Metropolitan Arts Council Greenville, SC. She writes quarterly for AT HOME Magazine on garden to table, and occasionally other publications, like the Wall Street Journal Magazine. Area: North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia
The governor position for Southeast (GA, FL) is vacant.
Mark Williams grew up in the South in a family whose background includes restaurateurs and farmers. A chef by trade, Mark co-founded Slow Food Bluegrass in 2005 in hopes of bringing together members of Kentucky’s sustainable agriculture and culinary communities in order to promote local and organic food. Through free or low cost events, the chapter has reached out to a diverse group of partners on school garden, childhood nutrition, food justice and other food education projects. He has a passion for organic and heirloom gardening, traditional southern cuisine, and sharing what he has learned with others. Mark is currently the Executive Chef at Brown- Forman, an American-owned wine and spirits company, which owns Jack Daniel’s and Southern Comfort. He has worked as a chef in some of the world’s greatest culinary destinations. Mark is on the Board of Advisors for Sullivan University National Center for Hospitality, a founding member of the Napa Valley Culinary Alliance, and is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance and the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Area: Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi
Joel Smith attended his first Slow Food meeting in Chicago in the fall of 1998 and, with the 10 other people at the meeting, formed one of the first chapters in the country. He has been involved with Slow Food for 13 years and has served as Regional Governor for 4. Since that unremarkable meal 13 years ago, the reach of good, clean, and fair food has expanded remarkably, especially in the Midwest region. It coincides with the remarkable work we’ve all done regionally, nationally, and internationally in that same period of time. Area: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa
Martha Davis Kipcak comes to food activism by the way of the kitchen, having owned and operated her own catering firm in Milwaukee, WI, dedicated to preparing local, seasonal ingredients interpreted in her born and bred Texas style, while also raising three children and one smart cat.
Martha founded the Milwaukee Food Council in 2007 to help build capacity in key organizations across Milwaukee promoting a socially just, sustainable food system which connects food to issues of environmental stewardship, equity, policy, economic vibrancy and healthy communities. She works as a Community Food System Organizer for the Center for Resilient Cities in Milwaukee, WI, promoting a healthy, equitable and sustainable food system in the context of resilience. Through this work Martha has served in leadership positions for Growing Power, Sweet Water Foundation, Milwaukee Food Council, Slow Food WI Southeast, Milwaukee County Winter Farmers Market, Milwaukee 7’s Food & Beverage Advisory Council, Edible Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Local Food Network. She is the Regional Governor for Slow Food Upper Midwest and one of Oxfam America’s Sisters on the Planet. Martha is also a budding food entrepreneur with the recent launch of her social enterprise Mighty Fine Food LLC, producing Martha’s Pimento Cheese for the marketplace. She was recently recognized as a 2013 Business Journal Woman of Influence for Inspiration in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Area: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan
The governor position for the Lower Midwest (KS, MO, NE, AR) is vacant. In the meantime, please contact Joel Smith.
Claudine Martyn is a classically trained Chef, a Sommelier, Cooking Instructor, Culinary Tour Guide, Menu and Recipe Consultant, Cheesemaker and Food Stylist. Claudine’s love of food and cooking inspired her to pursue her dream of becoming a chef after working many years as a paralegal and law firm administrator.
She left her career and moved to Paris, France where she graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2000 with a double major Claudine is an advocate for local farmers and producers and shares her passion for natural and organic food through her work with Slow Food. Claudine was chosen as a Chef Delegate to Slow Food’s Terre Madre Conference in Italy. Claudine has taught cooking classes in the U.S., Italy, France and Croatia. She also leads culinary tours to Italy and France. She loves teaching people about the benefits of eating fresh local food and learning where their food comes from. Claudine teaches 800 children annually at the Dallas Farmers Market how to make a meal with the fresh produce they buy there.
Claudine is serving as the Governor of Slow Food For Texas and Oklahoma. She is on the Board of Les Dames d’Escoffier and the American Institute of Wine and Food. She now lives in Winnetka Heights Historic District in Dallas. Area: Texas, Oklahoma
Rocky Mountains (CO, UT, WY, MT)
The governor position for Rocky Mountains is vacant.
The governor positions for Berkeley (Bay Area) and Marin-Petaluma (Northern California) are vacant.
Charity Kenyon was born in Berkeley, California and grew up in the East Bay. Her parents had black thumbs, but embraced Julia Child’s French Cooking and fine wine. A stint in Denmark as an exchange student followed by gardening classes under Alan Chadwick at UC Santa Cruz and meeting her (future) husband, Mike Eaton, underlie abiding interests in environmental protection and gardening. Charity joined Slow Food Sacramento in 2003 and has served as Event Committee Chair, Membership Director, and Chair of the Nominating Committee. Since July 2011, she has served as the Slow Food USA Governor for the Central Valley of California, Chair of the Policy Committee of the newly formed Slow Food California Region since 2012, and as an International Councilor representing Slow Food USA at International Council meetings since 2012. Charity has, with a group of Governors, spearheaded Slow Food advocacy on the Farm Bill and against genetically engineered foods and seeds. Charity and Mike own Kingbird Farms, a 5-acre farm in Southern Sacramento County where they grow fruits, vegetables and several Ark of Taste varieties for a 20-family CSA and one of Sacramento’s leading restaurants, as well as the local food bank. They are a WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) site that hosts young people from around the globe that are eager to learn more about organic growing techniques. Mike serves on the Slow Food California Regional Ark of Taste Committee. In 2012 Charity retired from her law practice, which emphasized First Amendment litigation and appeals. Area: Central Valley, CA
Dom Fiume – bio coming soon! Area: Southern California
Laurie Carlson – bio coming soon! Area: Hawaii
Gerry Warren is a retired Clinical Professor in Rehabilitation Medicine and Bioengineering at the University of Washington Medical School. He is a past president of the Enological Society of the Pacific Northwest, chair of its judging of Northwest wines and founding chair of the Auction of Northwest Wines. He and his wife Diane have an organic garden and enjoy cooking and wine making. He is founder and now co-leader of the Slow Food Seattle. He is involved in their Northwest Ark, Presidia and RAFT projects. Area: Washington, Alaska
Tom Barkin lives in Eugene, Oregon. In 2003, he stopped in at a meeting of the local Slow Food chapter and left as the chapter leader. The job was so much fun that he stayed until 2010, when he was named Regional Governor for Oregon and Idaho. As chapter leader, Tom attended Terra Madre in 2006 and Slow Food Nation in 2008. In 2009, Tom worked on sustainable agriculture projects in Kenya, including a joint project with Slow Food International, the Network for Eco Farming in Africa, and Friends of Kenya Schools and Wildlife. Tom’s articles on food and cooking have appeared in the Register-Guard newspaper and Northwest Palate magazine. Tom graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School. His professional career focused on utility regulation and alternative dispute resolution. Area: Oregon, Idaho
Pamela Hamilton has enjoyed living, food shopping and dining around the world. She discovered Slow Food while living in Europe in 2000 and was extremely pleased to see that a local chapter had been established in Phoenix when she returned to the United States. She is the publisher and editor of Edible Phoenix magazine, a quarterly local food publication celebrating the abundance of the Phoenix Valley season by season. Pamela is a past leader and currently the treasurer of Slow Food Phoenix. She is on the advisory board for Edible Communities and is a member of Les Dames D’Escoffier. She was formerly a management consultant and holds a Bachelor degree from Stanford University. Area: Arizona, New Mexico